The nights are drawing in but we never stop campaigning to improve foster care! Welcome to the latest campaigns blog.
Foster carer pay, the stocktake, and the fostering inquiry
Following on from the successful survey we publicised in the summer, which had a fantastic response rate of over 1,200 foster carers, we have produced a report highlighting the fact that foster carers are, as a group, unpaid or underpaid. It is shocking that only one in 10 foster carers receives the equivalent of the national living wage for a 40 hour week (and we know that fostering is so much more than 40 hours per week). The report generated some good coverage in the press, and was also quoted by MPs at the latest oral evidence session of the England Education Committee’s fostering inquiry. It’s always encouraging when we see how our work can have an impact like this.
Please help us to continue this impact, and email the Government’s fostering stocktake team in England to let them know that pay is a real issue for foster carers. You can also read our report at that link.
The Education Committee’s oral evidence also saw some great input from a care leaver, who spoke passionately in favour of foster carers being professionals and deserving payment. You can view the whole session and read this report about two fostered young people who gave evidence.
Robert Goodwill MP, the children’s minister, also gave evidence at the inquiry. Prior to this hearing we arranged a meeting with him with foster carers, and he was pleased to be able to hear directly from them about their experiences and how foster care can be improved. and we look forward to working closely with him in the future.
New minister in Scotland
A warm welcome to the new minister for childcare and early years in Scotland, Maree Todd. We look forward to working with her, especially in regards to ensuring a minimum fostering allowance is introduced in Scotland as soon as possible.
Don’t forget that the care review is still underway in Scotland. You can find out more and have your say about fostering here.
Access to free childcare
Our latest campaign relates to the discriminatory policy in England, whereby fostered children are ineligible for the extra 15 hours of child care that have been provided to all other children across England. We have built a coalition of other organisations who have come together to pressure the government to reverse this decision. Please take part in our campaign by contacting your MP.
As ever if you have any questions about our campaigns work please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vicki and Rob